In recent years the mining industry has seen significant shifts in operations. Decommissioned mine sites within Australia are being reclaimed, other sites are closing down. In general mine sites are shifting priorities across Australia. There are several reasons for this, including new technology that allows for the extraction of previously unobtainable deposits, but we’re not going to go into too much detail about that. Instead, we’re here to talk about relocating and what steps a mining company should begin to take before getting underway.
The relocation of mining machinery is a unique challenge that is going to put any mining company to the test. It goes without saying Australia is a large place, and if relocating is in the works, they’re more often than not going to have to travel a long way. Even relocation work within a single state such as Western Australia requires a lot of time and resources.
Relocating mining equipment will require highly skilled individuals to operate and communicate in a cohesive environment to ensure the job gets done. For instance, large mining trucks and earthmoving equipment can’t simply be transported on the back of a b-double. They require dismantling and reinstalling at the new site, and even that’s more simple. With large heavy haulage loads, trucks need to follow a specific set of rules to be road legal. So it is important to take a number of necessary steps in the planning and organising stages to ensure relocation runs smoothly to even the most remote locations.
Plan ahead in detail
First and foremost planning is key to any mining operation. Mining machinery requires a lot of carefully planned out work to ensure they’re relocated smoothly.
Maybe it does seem simple enough to move heavy equipment from one location to another, but the opposite is true. There are a number of steps involved, all of which need to be carefully planned out. It’s a good idea to have someone create a written plan that is clear and easy to follow. Everything in this article should be included in the plan. Including all the costs, dismantling times, travel times, installation times and schedules. Having an organised plan that has considered every aspect makes relocation a much smoother job.
This doesn’t mean that things can’t go wrong, and that too should be considered in the action plan. The weather might not hold up, equipment might get delayed, and accidents may happen. These can all greatly mess with plans. So to combat that, having procedures and measures in place will help reduce wasted time and money.
Costs should play a massive part in the relocation of mining machinery. With the action plan that’s been developed there should be an estimated cost for each procedure.
Once you have the costs all written down you should have a total cost, if it has gone over budget it’s time to plan up a second draft and rework the action plan. This could be something like hiring different companies to deliver or dismantle your equipment.
Building your action plan and budget together is about refining, and economising. Not only does relocation need to be a smooth process with as few hiccups as possible, but it also needs to take into account the total cost of everything. In some cases, it may be cheaper and more economical to buy new equipment than to move old equipment to the subsequent relocation
Next on the list is to have a thorough schedule. Everyone working on the site whatever they’re doing must know their timeframe to get the work done. Any mining operations that may get in the way of the relocation team, will need to be put on halt for the time being.
Mine camp installations and relocations require transparent time management plans. By this we mean site managers have a clear understanding of the work that needs to be done, how long they have, and what to do next. This way there isn’t any confusion, or bad communication and helps to increase mining site safety.
Having said this, having a good plan is understanding the specific needs of the workers. Whilst it is great to prioritise efficiency, and optimise the number of workers on site, give them enough time and manpower to do a job safely. Some jobs will just take a long time, for instance, if the equipment is being relocated to a remote location, it doesn’t make sense to rush the truck driver. It’s important they drive safely and within the regulations of the law on the road.
As mentioned before things might go wrong, the weather might turn bad, or there might be an incident on site. This goes back to having backup plans you’re able to execute in a situation like this.
It goes without saying mining machines require a lot of effort in almost every department from, running, maintaining, installing and relocating. Some jobs can be too big for just one company. To get your equipment to the new site safely sometimes the best option is to hire from other companies.
Outsourcing work might seem to complicate things, especially if a lot of time has gone into planning it. The opposite is true most of the time, so long as you’re using a reliable company it should actually help in simplifying the job.
Speaking of reliability, Mining Technicians Group Australia specialises in surface mining equipment installation. We are a proud Australian company that highly regards our skilled team of technicians. The technicians are able to not only install but optimise and ensure the plant is operating to its full potential. So, if your mining company is looking to relocate, and install equipment, look no further than MTGA!